Fifty days til I’m 50!

Yup, that’s right.  In 50 days, I turn 50 years old.

I’d thought I’d post one of my semi-regular “to do lists”–like fifty things I want to do before I turn 50.  But then the whole situation with COVID-19 hit and many of those things were suddenly cancelled or postponed.

New Zealand
Easier days!

So then I thought about writing about fifty things that I was going to do before I turned 50, but got cancelled.  But I wasn’t sure I could honestly think of fifty of those things.  There probably were, but it’d be a boring list to read.  Like, it would have to include going the staff meeting at my work six or seven times.

Then it thought about making a list of 50 things, interesting or otherwise, about myself.  I went after that for a short time but it proved to be more otherwise than interesting.

But I wanted to do something to mark the day, and so I found a list of 50 ways to celebrate ones 50th birthday, on this post, which comes from the website vivafifty.com.

Right now it’s hard to imagine how I will celebrate my 50th.  What wiill any of us even be allowed to do, not to mention all the regular questions of affordability, time and interest.  So I thought I’d take those fifty suggestions and do a countdown with them, from the least likely to the most…

50. Go to a strip-club.  Men or women, your choice.

Um, no.  My choice is to give this a big skip.

49. Go on a cruise

Not only unaffordable, but seems downright idiotic in the current health situation.  Even if it were possible.  My wife would put this as her lowest choice.

48. If you are engaged, tie the knot!

Sounds complicated, but not relevant for me, as I’m already married.

47. Launch your own business

Seems pretty unlikely.  What product or service would I provide?  Maybe I could do online murder mystery party games.

46. Book your most desired plastic surgery

Well, my most desired plastic surgery at the moment is none at all.  But I don’t think that counts.

45. Get a cosmetic enhancement

What?  I’m not sure I know what that even means.

44. Get a tattoo

Lots of people have them and they can look nice, but it’s just not my scene.  And maybe not possible at the moment?  I’m not sure.

43. Visit your faraway family

My closest faraway relatives are about 2716.9 km away, which would be crossing about a thousand regional and state borders that I’m currently not allowed to cross.  So we won’t be doing that.

42. Travel to a city that you always wanted to see

Could be awesome.  But seems unlikely at the moment, given that I can’t travel any distance out of Perth.

41. Spend the day at the spa

So, so so uninteresting to me.  And very likely not possible thanks to how many things are closed.

40. Go to a rock concert

This is theoretically interesting, but seems very unlikely in these “no public gatherings of more than 2 people” days.

39. Spend the day at an amusement park

Similar to the above.  I’m pretty sure there aren’t any amusement parks open anywhere.  Maybe I could make my own.  We do have a trampoline in the back yard.

38. Buy tickets to the theater or ballet

I’d actually enjoy this–at least the theater part–but I think there are very few theater-based events going on anywhere nearby.

37. Go skydiving

I’ve always thought that’d be interesting, but I’m not sure if I could convince myself in the moment to actually take the leap.

36. Sign up to paddleboarding, yoga, golf

I’ve golfed once and was terrible.  Paddleboarding looks kind of interesting.  Maybe you could call that “exercise”.  I don’t know if you can still “sign up” for it at the moment, though.

35. Go on a gastro tour of your city

Maybe there’s some sort of gastro take-away tour of the city?

34. Spend the evening at a social painting class

Maybe a social-distancing painting class?

33. Sign up to a wine tasting course

I don’t really drink, so this doesn’t seem like it’s up my street, even if it were still possible.

32. Learn to scuba dive

Theoretically interesting, but I think I’d be really bad at it.  And like so many things here, probably not possible to actually learn at the moment, although you might be able to actually do it.

31. Book a long and luscious massage

I know a lot of people might like this, but I think I’d just find it uncomfortable.

30. Sign up to a dance course

Potentially more interesting than the above to me, but again seems not really possible these days.

29. Host a costume or theme party

No parties at the moment, obviously.  But could theoretically be okay otherwise.

28. Ride a murder mystery train

I’ve been on a murder mystery train once and it was terrible.  Really, a bad mystery, an average meal, and a freezing cold ride home because most of the other passengers were keeping themselves warmed up with alcohol and dancing.  Not likely to be an experience I’ll try to repeat soon.

27. Go bowling

This would be certainly affordable, but a bit of a plain sort of activity for a 50th.  And I assume bowling alleys are closed anyway.

26. Get a complete makeover

Um, no, I don’t think so.  Maybe my daughters can do it.

25. Go paintballing

I’ve never done this–it’s always made me feel a bit intimidated as well.  I wouldn’t mind under the right circumstances, but it doesn’t feel like that’s what we have right now.

24. Make a reservation at a high-end restaurant

I guess I could make the reservation for some day when we are allowed to go out to restaurants again.  But that is far off enough that it doesn’t really feel like it’d be for my birthday.

23. Purge your closet and go on a shopping spree

Purge my closet?  Maybe.  Go on a shopping spree?  Ugh.

22. Try your luck at gambling

I assume, rather than know, that the local casino isn’t operating at the moment.  But there is nothing appealing to me about this at all  Maybe if I had money that I was otherwise going to flush straight down the toilet, I’d give this a try.

21. Sing karaoke

I have done this at least once, in Indonesia, where they take karaoke up a notch.  It was enjoyable, but not something I’m eager to repeat.  And unless you figure out some in-home option, not really possible at the moment.

20. Ride a hot air balloon

I’d be curious to do this, but I think I’d also be a bit afraid of dying.  And like so many things, probably not possible at the moment.

19. Go on a helicopter sightseeing tour

I’ve been on a helicopter once, when a pilot took me up for my 40th birthday, actually.  I really enjoyed it and would enjoy such a thing again.  But almost certainly it’s not affordable and probably not possible at the moment anyway.

18. Host a sit-down dinner

Not possible except with my immediate household, with whom I have sit-down dinners fairly regularly.  So it will probably happen anyway, but by itself doesn’t feel like a particularly special birthday celebration.

17. Host a picnic

As above, really, except we don’t do it as often.  For the moment, I think we’d still be allowed.

16. Attend a spiritual retreat

A lot of life feels like a bit of a spiritual retreat at the moment.  I wouldn’t mind doing such a thing at some point, I guess.  But it’s not exactly how I want to spend my 50th.

15. Go the beach and listen to the waves

Totally possible.  Totally affordable.  Totally unappealing.

14. Camp in the woods

This might be possible as well, except I think with regional travel restrictions that we have in Western Australia, I would not easily be able to get to the woods.  I wouldn’t mind it if for some reason I were going camping and it happened to be my birthday, but I would never plan such a thing for my birthday.

13. Meditate for an hour

This would be totally possible to do, of course, and absolutely free.  And hopefully I will spend some time praying on my birthday. It should probably be a bit of a significant activity, actually.  Not sure if it’ll be a full hour, though.  And certainly doesn’t feel like it would make a full celebration.

12. Renew your wedding vows

There are a lot of problems with this one.  I am married, and I am still living by my wedding vows with my wife, and I’d have no problem if there were some call to re-affirm those vows in a public ceremony, but it’s not something I feel particularly moved to do (and I’m pretty sure my wife would say the same).  At the moment, weddings in general are limited to five people–a celebrant, the couple, and two witnesses.  I’m pretty sure “wedding vow renewals” wouldn’t even be allowed that.

11. Rescue a puppy from a shelter

This would be a happy birthday present to my wife and daughters.  But for me it would be a birthday curse.

10. Have a breakfast in bed

I know this is supposed to be a nice idea.  I haven’t done it once for me, when I turned 26 in Canada (the only birthday I spent in somewhere other than the United States or Australia).  But overall I find the whole idea a bit awkward.  I’d much rather have breakfast at the table, or maybe on the couch or something.

9. Go for a long bike ride

This is totally possible.  And it’d probably be good for me.  But it’s not something I particularly want to do.

8. Break free from the past by throwing things out

Well, maybe they’ll be some throwing things out.  That’d be good.  I’m not sure if I’m really looking to break free of the past, exactly.  But de-cluttering would always be good.

7. Write the longest gratitude list

I am a bit of a list person, so a gratitude list is plausible.  It might even show up on this blog.  But the longest gratitude list?  That’s quite the challenge.  What the record on something like that?  500 things?  1000 things?  10,000 things?

6. Spend the day in bed reading a really good book

I enjoy reading a book, but I certainly don’t want to spend a whole day sitting in bed and reading one.  Maybe if I get a good comic I’d enjoy spending an hour reading.  Or maybe if I was sitting on the bed (not so much in the bed), I’d be happy to spend an hour or two reading to my kids.

5. Play board games with friends

It wouldn’t be strange at all for this to be a big part of a birthday celebration of mine.  But of course these days that’s not so likely these days.  Maybe we could figure out some way to do it online.  More likely I’ll spend some time playing a board game with my family, especially my younger two children with whom I share a lot of interests.

4. Watch your favorite movies all day

All day?  All day!  Like a 24 hour airplane flight!  It makes me want to plan what I could actually watch over the course of 24 hours.  It’s certainly possible that I’d watch one film that day, maybe two.  But I’d want it to not just be my own favorite films, but something I know my kids would like.  Indeed, that really is something I enjoy doing–introducing my kids to the movies that they’ve never heard of but which I think they’d enjoy a lot.

3. Spend the night at a 5-star hotel

This is maybe the whole thing on this whole list which isn’t completely impossible which I might enjoy for my birthday.  It’s not exactly likely because of the cost, and I feel like it’s not exactly a priority at the moment, but if the opportunity presented itself I’d enjoy going to a nice hotel with my wife.

2. Move to your new house

Now for sure if this opportunity presented itself, I’d be all over that.  We rent, and have done so all our married life.  We’ve been working on the idea of buying  a house, but for a variety of reasons that’s not straightforward at the moment.

1. Enjoy your day!

This is obviously the catch-all one at the end of the list where I found these things, and I guess it serves as the catch-all for my list as well.  One way or the other, I’m going to enjoy that day, whether I’m in semi-lockdown or not, whatever we end up doing.

Check back in 50 days and we’ll see.

Birthday Cake

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